Thursday, June 26, 2014

The "Smart" Toothpaste

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a 10-letter adjective describing certain institutions. Drop three letters from this word, and the remaining seven letters, reading left to right, will name an institution described by this adjective. What institution is it?
Here's what got us confused. It was easy to pick COLLEGIATE among the various ten-letter institutional adjectives (charitable, depository, Chautauqua...) as leading to the most possibilities. And look, you can make COLLEGE from the letters, in order, of COLLEGIATE. Turns out, you can also make COLGATE, which is the intended answer.

I will now dazzle you with non-toothy photos featuring Colgate:

Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50 -- Curtis
 51 - 100 -- Alex B.
101 - 150 -- B. Haven
151 - 200 -- Joe Kupe
201 - 250 -- Ross
251 - 300 -- Word Woman
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Maggie Strasser
401 - 450 -- Phil
451 - 500 -- Magdalen
501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- zeke creek
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- Mendo Jim
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650 
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000
2,001 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250
3,251 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

 > 5,000
 > 5,000 + new record
Our tie-break rule:   In the event that a single round number is announced with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I still just like having fine print).


Word Woman said...

In honor of Planned Chaos' COLLIEGATE clue at Blaine's and David's (?) earlier COLLIE suggestion, I vote for collies for photos next, or at least dogs (maybe cats too ;-)).

Mendo Jim said...

Magdalen says: "Turns out, you can also make COLGATE, which is the intended answer."
Mendo Jim says: "How the hell does Magdalen know that?"

David said...

My guess is that if Will expected college, he would have said something like "Remove three consecutive letters ...".

Word Woman said...

"An" institution fits COLGATE better IMHO. "The" institution of COLLEGE is a better fit. Simply going from the adjective to the noun is too much like saying where in the house do you find certain words and accepting "in the dictionary." Technically it's correct but the elegance factor is zero. And we know enigmatology is all about elegance, right?

Henry BW said...

But this week, it would have to be Webster's Collegiate Dictionary....

Mendo Jim said...

My guess is that if Will expected Colgate, he would have said something like "Remove three non-consectutive letters..."

I think that there may be only one certainty in Will Shortz' Sunday Puzzles: He will resist alternate answers (of any quality) to his last breath.
If someone wants to donate $20 to our hosts' charity fund for each example, I will take the time to supply a myriad of them.

If anyone can convince me Will had even a thought about using "an" vs. "the," I'll donate $20.

Elegance factor, WW? I miss it, too.

Word Woman said...

Henry BW, I meant to add Webster's Collegiate. Touché!

Mendo Jim, I could see you as co-collaborator, making things clear and elegant!

I'll wager a $20 donation that Will meant COLGATE, not COLLEGE. Otherwise, I will eat my toothbrush. . .b

Anonymous said...

Here's the thinking I alluded to in my earlier post.

I did come up with "collegiate" and "college" initially but naturally found that solution too easy or, in other words, not sufficiently elegant. So I thought some more and came up with Colgate University. So far, I think most of us were on this path.

When I looked at the letters I'd removed, "lei," I did think about the Hawaiian garland, but I like to try to come up with alternate solutions to the puzzles. I'm perverse that way. So it occurred to me that the I in "lei" might stand for "institute," and I searched to see whether there was such a place.

I found this in Wikipedia: "LEI is one of the research institutes of Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR)." I clicked on the external link and found--well, you can see here:

I'm still not clear whether LEI is "collegiate" in the sense of "being a college," but there are links for applicants for various undergraduate and graduate programs, so since "collegiate" means "Of, relating to, or held to resemble a college," I figured that a research institute associated with a college is collegiate.

Anyway, that's my thinking.


legolambda said...

Mendo Jim,
I don’t know how in the blazes Magdalen knows that Colgate is Will’s intended answer, but I know she is right, and I know how in the blazes I know that.

I second Word Woman’s nomination of you as Will’s co-collaborator and Minister of Elegance.

On tomorrow’s (June 27) Puzzleria! I will reveal how many correct entries NPR received for this week’s “institutional” puzzle.


Mendo Jim said...

I would have been happy with "probably the intended answer."
The implication of certain knowledge made me think I am only visiting a portion of the available Wesun Puzzle blogs.

As for LL's knowing the Range and the intended answer, I can only guess that he got The Call this week, except I thought it came on Friday.

Magdalen said...

Mendo Jim -- Do I have to add the words, "I believe" to my statement that it's the intended answer, or am I allowed to be wrong? I've been wrong before and I don't mind admitting it when I am, so sure, I believe that's the intended answer.

Unlike legolambda, though, I do wait until Sunday to state what the actual range of entries is. Apart from anything else, who knows what the relationship is between what the host says on Sunday and what the overworked, unpaid NPR intern actually had to count.

legolambda said...


“The call” comes on Thursday, just after the 3 p.m. Eastern Time deadline. And, yes, I got it.


My apologies for spilling the beans on the “bean-countable” number of correct entries this week. I won’t do that again.

And you are exactly correct (you are a savvy woman!). There was a discrepancy (not large, but perhaps significant for the purposes of your blog) between what I knew on Thursday and what I knew on Friday regarding the number of correct entries.


Magdalen said...

Lego -- No need to apologize. I wasn't upset.

Congratulations on getting the call! We've now had at least three people from our coterie make it onto the radio. We'll be listening with great interest!

B Haven said...

Wonderful that Lego got the call. Good odds for someone with the Colgate answer (I had it too).

130 correct answers last week, yah! Red cross, please.